Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Handout for ESL Students

Kent State University

ESL Center: 201 Satterfield Hall


Attendance Policy (Important)

Following university policy and as required by their immigration status, all studentsmust attend ALL classes they enroll in. If you cannot come to class, you need to notify your instructor before the day of the class. In case of sickness or legal trouble, you need to presents a doctor's note or official legal papers. If you do not attend classes, your instructor will email you and expect your response, explanation and proof. If the instructor does not receive your response, they have the right to lower your grade, submit NF or SF grade and report to ESL and immigration officials.

Students' Responsibilities (Important)

  • Check and manage your Kent email ( regularly.
  • Check your class schedule on FlashLine.
  • Make sure you have NO holds on your record. (Flashline/Student Tools/Check Registration Status/View Holds)
  • Make certain that your academic and financial records are in order. If you have any questions, please contact the Bursar's office in the Michael Schwartz Center.


All students are enrolled in courses for credit. This means that you will be given a grade for each class you take. The grades you can earn are: A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F

Based on the grades you earn, the university registrar will calculate your GPA (grade point average). Students can advance to the next level if their grades are A, B or C. When the semester is over, you can request your transcript from the Registrar's office in the Michael Schwartz Center. Any exchange students who would like Kent State University to send their transcripts to their home universities need to sign a special release form at the beginning of the semester.

Academic Progress 

The United States government requires students to make forward progress academically in order to maintain student visa status. Therefore, students cannot repeat classes with "A" or "B" grades of repeat levels that they have already successfully completed.

Registration and Change of Classes

Based on the results of your placement test, we will assign you your proficiency level and advise you on which classes to enroll in. All full-time students must be enrolled in 8 credits per module.  To expedite your time in the ESL Center, we highly recommend that you enroll in 17 credit hours for your educational benefit. If you decide to take 17 credit hours, Kent State University charges an additional $447 per credit hour for each credit hour enrolled above 16. Students who receive financial support from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Brazil or other governmentally sponsored countries are required to take 17 credit hours. If your government sponsors you and you want to drop a class, the ESL Center needs written permission from your government to drop a class. If you do not qualify for full-time status, you can be enrolled in a maximum of 11 credits per semester. Once you are registered, you CANNOT change your classes unless you provide official documentation from a doctor saying why such a change would be necessary.


All students who enroll in ESL classes must pay their tuition in accordance with university payment requirements. If you are not on a payment plan, full payment is required immediately after you register. Students who live on campus are also required to pay for their housing. Both tuition and housing payments need to be made at the Bursar's office in the Michael Schwartz Center.


Whenever an emergency occurs, you may call 911, the emergency Kent police contact number. If there is a problem, but not an actual emergency, call 330-672-2212, the Kent State police contact number.

Personal Issues

If you have any concerns regarding health, family, legal issues or expected travel, please contact Marianna Nesterenko in the ESL Center, SFH 201-C.

Changing Levels and Criteria for Skipping ESL levels

  • In order to be considered for release or skipping levels, the student must be enrolled in Reading, Writing, Listening and Grammar.

Usually, students move from level to level if they have passing grades in Reading, Writing, Listening AND Grammar. If a student wants to skip one level, he/she must have a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Students who want to skip more than one level need a GPA of 3.75 AND a TOEFL score of 500. In order to advance from level to level, ALL students must get a passing grade in Reading, Writing, Listening, AND Grammar, including students with F2 visas.

Release Policy for Undergraduate Students:

 There are several options for you to be released from ESL:

Full Release

  • If you score 71 (iBT) or 525 (paper-based) on the TOEFL, or 6.0 on IELTS.
  • If you attend the intensive ESL program as a full-time student taking Reading, Writing, Listening AND Grammar for one module and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher at Levels 8, 9, or 10.
  • If you are in levels 8, 9, or 10 and attend the KSU ESL Center as a full-time student for a minimum of two modules and have a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or higher with no D grades in levels 8-10. All D's in levels 8-10 must be retaken before a student can be fully released.

NOTE: All Kent State University ESL Center students must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to be released based on a TOEFL or IELTS score. If an ESL Center student has an adequate TOEFL/IELTS score to be released but a cumulative GPA below 2.0, the student must retake any levels 8-10 classes where the student got a D or F until the student's cumulative GPA is above 2.0.

Partial Release

  • TOEFL score: If you score 480-500 (paper-based) or a 54-61 (iBT), you may be given permission to enroll in one non-ESL course. If you score 500-524 (paper-based) or 61-70 (iBT) you may be given permission to enroll in one or two non-ESL courses until you score 525 (71).
  • IELTS Academic version score: If you score a 5.5 total plus a 5.0 minimum on the writing section you are eligible for a partial release and can enroll in one (not two) non-ESL course until you score a 6.0 on IELTS.

Release from ESL study does not guarantee your acceptance to a college or major. Students must meet the admission requirements of their individual college and/or department.

Admission Policy for Graduate Students

Release from ESL at the graduate level can only be achieved through acceptable test scores (TOEFL, IELTS) as determined by the department you will study (for example: Business, Aeronautics, Nursing, etc.).

NOTE: Due to the increase in cheating on standardized tests, the ESL Center Director reserves the right to conduct a final exit interview. The ESL Center Director will conduct a final exit interview if he suspects cheating on either the TOEFL or IELTS. The final exit interview may consist of a written essay and/or multiple choice tests.